It's been a very busy month. I've said recently that August seems to be the month that we do a lot of family "vacationy" activities, even though we don't actually travel anywhere. So far we've been to Tuscora Park (a local park with Kiddie rides, playgrounds, mini golf, and fishing) twice, Kennywood, boating, and Nathan has been in the parade in the local festival. And we plan more boating and a trip to Idlewild Park in the next 2 weeks.
I really do enjoy these times; the kids have so much fun and I really love watching them. I am especially intrigued by watching Sarah and how much she loves the rides. She is at the perfect age right now for these parks.
Tuesday we went to Kennywood with another family from church. It was a terrific day: I thought of Abigail several times during the day, but very matter-of-factly, not with great sadness. Mostly how if she were here we wouldn't have been riding this or that ride but hanging out mainly in the kiddie ride section. By no means am I glad she wasn't there, but we were able to have a great day and enjoy the fact that our kids are getting a little older and all the advantages that go along with that.
Today we had our company picnic at Tuscora Park. After the lunch, when the kids were out riding the rides, I was talking with C.'s husband. He asked if I liked having a boy and a girl. Now I know he knows about Abigail and so I just answered the question without more than a passing "actually I have 2 girls" thought.
About 5 minutes later, a couple of retirees from the plant came up and started talking with me. She commented about how big the kids are getting (they retired before Sarah was born) and asked if we were going to have any more. I said, "no, we're done." And she said, "two is good, a boy and a girl." I know that they don't know about Abigail and it felt awkward and a little unpleasant not to mention her. But I didn't see the point in telling them about Abigail - I only see them once a year at most - and I just didn't want to deal with their reaction to hearing she had died.
Those conversations didn't bring on the heart-racing, panicky feeling that they used to. My first thought was still of Abigail, and I still always mentally include her with my other children, but it is no longer so desperately important for me to have her mentioned "equally" with the other kids. I don't feel so guilt-ridden when I don't mention her.
Although I do wish I was comfortable enough to mention her without worrying about their reaction. I still let it stop me when my thought
is of her but I don't verbalize
it. So maybe further healing will take me to that point? Or by then will I not even feel the need to talk about her at all?
I am happy about that "accomplishment" - it does mean I am still healing. However, my boss's boss and his family were there. They have 3 kids, including an infant a few weeks old and a boy who will be 2 next month. Aaaagggghhh! A newborn and a toddler the age Abigail would have been. Hit me with a right and follow it up with a left!
I am not close to this boss at all, and I made no effort to cross the room and greet him or his kids. In fact, I don't agree with many of his lifestyle choices, and so it is very hard for me to see him with healthy kids when my daughter is gone (it's not FAIR!). At one point his wife was waiting near us at a ride, and we spoke briefly, but that was it. Needless to say, I did not mention the new baby but moved on quickly. Possibly that seemed strange to her since she had him there and everyone is always oohing and aahing over new babies, but hey, I didn't need to spoil my pleasant day with that.
I am glad, though, that I was able to enjoy C.'s baby, H., who is about 18 months old. He rode the ferris wheel with my kids, and I even won him over enough for him to overcome his shyness and let me hold him. I had no sadness with that; only enjoyment.
As I look back over the day, it was very, very
good. Almost all joyful, with Abigail on my mind but the sadness not right behind the thought.
Her second birthday is Friday. We're planning to go out on the boat if the weather's right and have a small celebration. I'm still not sure exactly what yet. I still miss her a great deal - when feelings of the "unfairness" hit me is when it hurts the most - but overall I would say I am happy. And definitely blessed with a wonderful family.